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Charlie Watts

Over the past two decades The Rolling Stones drummer, Charlie Watts, has been able to pursue his passion for jazz, playing in a variety of settings whenever he wasn't otherwise engaged with the "World's Greatest Rock 'n' Roll Band."

In 1985, he formed a big band and toured the States, ultimately releasing Live at Fulham Town Hall on the Sony label. In 1991, he formed a small group to pay homage to the music that first grabbed him while growing up in London. In a span of five years, The Charlie Watts Quintet released a series of stellar recordings — From One Charlie, Tribute To Charlie Parker, Warm And Tender and Long Ago And Far Away.

Next came Charlie's heartfelt collaboration with Jim Keltner, The Charlie Watts / Jim Keltner Project, in tribute to their favorite drummers with each track titled after a different hero. Now we have Charlie's Tentet as recorded live at the legendary Ronnie Scott's in London on Watts at Scott's.

Warmth, joy, and virtuosity of this dream team of jazz masters as they perform live on two full CDs, a diverse collection of compositions from the likes of Duke Ellington and Thelonius Monk to originals from the Tentet themselves including Gerard Presencer's take on the Glimmer Twins in "Faction", to two tracks culled from the aforementioned Watts / Keltner Project.

Since 2009 Charlie enjoys playing lots of live gigs all over Europe with his childhood friend Dave Green on double bass and Boogie-Woogie and Blues pianists Axel Zwingenberger and Ben Waters. The name of this new band refers to their first names: The ABC&D of Boogie Woogie.


Album Review

Rolling Stones: Hackney Diamonds (2CD)

Read "Hackney Diamonds (2CD)" reviewed by Doug Collette

The Rolling Stones have taken some risks of greater and lesser proportion over the course of their sixty-plus- year career, but perhaps no gamble is so great as the decision by the surviving members of the band to continue on after the passing of drummer Charlie Watts. With the blessing of their co-founder in place for the presence of musician/producer Steve Jordan at the kit, the self-appointed 'greatest rock and roll band in the world' carried on with ...

Play This!

Charlie Watts: Jazz Anthology

Read "Charlie Watts: Jazz Anthology" reviewed by Pedro Keul

Charlie Watts left this world in 2021, at age 80, and many only know him as the legendary Rolling Stones drummer of six decades. Lesser known was his passion for jazz--that he expressed every chance he could--recording ten albums as a leader. This extensive retrospective released in 2023 presents 27 themes recorded in a 20 year span, starting in 1986, in several jazz formats (big band, quartet, quintet and tentet), alongside musicians including double-bassist Dave Green, drummer Jim Keltner, and ...

Book Review

Charlie’s Good Tonight: The Life, the Times, and the Rolling Stones: The Authorized Biography of Charlie Watts

Read "Charlie’s Good Tonight: The Life, the Times, and the Rolling Stones: The Authorized Biography of Charlie Watts" reviewed by Doug Collette

Charlie's Good Tonight: The Life, the Times, and the Rolling Stones: The Authorized Biography of Charlie Watts Paul Sexton 368 Pages ISBN: # 978-0063276581 Harper Collins 2022 The infectious sing-song quality of Paul Sexton's prose for the biography of the late Charlie Watts may well surprise those music lovers who've read his rather bland liner notes for Rolling Stones archive titles like Voodoo Lounge Uncut (Eagle Vision, 2018) and A Bigger Bang: Live ...

Album Review

The Rolling Stones: El Mocambo 1977

Read "El Mocambo 1977" reviewed by Doug Collette

The die-cut design of the double-CD cover for the Rolling Stones' El Mocambo 1977 mitigates at least to some degree the borderline amateurish cover art. But reversing the pink and blue covers of the twenty-page booklet inside the dual-fold package achieves a greater end than simply altering the simplistic cosmetics; its extraction also reveals a Paul Sexton essay with information more than a little pertinent to the music as well as photos of the Toronto appearance that might better have ...

Book Review

Sympathy For The Drummer: Why Charlie Watts Matters

Read "Sympathy For The Drummer: Why Charlie Watts Matters" reviewed by Doug Collette

Sympathy For The Drummer: Why Charlie Watts Matters Mike Edison 264 pages ISBN: #978-1493047734 Backbeat Books 2019 Sympathy For The Drummer: Why Charlie Watts Matters is a schizophrenic piece of work. But, as befits a book wherein the main title and subtitle could be transposed with no loss of meaning, the schism in is worth enduring because this work of Mike Edison's is ultimately so edifying. At a glance and upon ...

Extended Analysis

Charlie Watts Meets the Danish Radio Big Band

Read "Charlie Watts Meets the Danish Radio Big Band" reviewed by Nenad Georgievski

A film director once said that you can't make a great film with a weak script. The same goes for bands of any kind be it jazz or rock or any kind. You can't have a great band without a great drummer. A band can get by with an average bassist or guitarist, but not with an average drummer. It's the heartbeat of any band. One of the things that has made the band Rolling Stones what they are is ...

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Charlie Watts (1941-2021)

Charlie Watts (1941-2021)

Source: JazzWax by Marc Myers

In most photos of the Rolling Stones, Charlie Watts always looked like the band's accountant. Unlike Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones and Bill Wyman, he didn't seem to fit in nor did it appear in photos that he wanted to. And in many ways he didn't. Watts, at the tail end of the 1950s, was on his way to a jazz career, or so he hoped. It didn't take long to realize that jazz was drying up around him. ...



Charlie Watts talks jazz, Stones plans

Charlie Watts talks jazz, Stones plans

Source: Michael Ricci

Even though he's played in the same rock 'n' roll band for nearly 50 years, Charlie Watts still prefers playing jazz. The Rolling Stones drummer learned how to play it by imitating his favorite jazz players as a teenager. So during his breaks with the Stones, Watts has played jazz, not rock, and that legacy continues with his latest venture, The A, B, C, and D of Boogie Woogie. The quartet recently released “Live in Paris" from one of their ...


Performance / Tour

They Got the Short End of the (Drum) Stick

They Got the Short End of the (Drum) Stick

Source: All About Jazz

Rock has a history of selling drummers short. Four others overlooked:

Charlie Watts

One of the greatest “feel" drummers in rock, grounded The Rolling Stones with a world-class backbeat and swung with a jazz-informed groove. Get Off of My Cloud, Honky Tonk Women and Satisfaction succeed, in large part, thanks to signature beats conjured by Watts.

Hal Blaine

Blaine laid the foundation for the soundtrack of the '60s in Los Angeles studios with The Beach Boys, the Mamas and the ...



Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Hackney Diamonds (2CD)

Rolling Stones Records


El Mocambo 1977

Rolling Stones Records


Charlie Watts Meets...

Impulse! Records


Watts at Scott's

Sanctuary Records


Warm & Tender





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